Why We Believe Obvious Untruths How can so many people believe things that are demonstrably false? The question has taken on new urgency as the Trump administration propagates falsehoods about voter fraud, climate change and crime statistics that large swaths … Continue reading Knowledge is shared
Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again You only use 10 percent of your brain. Eating carrots improves your eyesight. Vitamin C cures the common cold. Crime in the United States is at … Continue reading Brain feels
Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain All presidents lie. Richard Nixon said he was not a crook, yet he orchestrated the most shamelessly crooked act in the modern presidency. Ronald Reagan said he wasn’t aware of the Iran-Contra deal; there’s evidence … Continue reading Dealing with lies
Trump understands what many miss: people don’t make decisions based on facts Donald Trump made an “unusual degree” of blatantly false and misleading statements for a presidential candidate. And he won. Since then, we’ve seen the continuation of the pattern: … Continue reading Are you fact-checking?
How liars create the illusion of truth Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda, says psychologist Tom Stafford. “Repeat a lie often enough … Continue reading Does prior knowledge matter?
How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth Next week, if all goes well, someone will win the presidency. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. Will the losing side believe the results? Will the bulk of Americans … Continue reading Availability cascades
Yes, I’d lie to you When Donald Trump, the Republican presidential hopeful, claimed recently that President Barack Obama “is the founder” of Islamic State and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, the “co-founder”, even some of his supporters were perplexed. Surely … Continue reading The era of post-truth politics